- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Edwin Elliott
- Location of story:
- From France, Caen To Holland Eindhoven
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 21 February 2004
Hello my name is Nicola Otterspoor. I was born and live in Holland. My granddad and mum are English . A couple of years ago we found the dairy my granddads wrote in de war. It is written in pensile, because it has faded it is difficult to read. We managed to read most of it but we’re still working on it trying to fill in bits we can’t read. Unfortunately my granddad past away yesterday, the 20th of February 2004. I saw him last in December and tried to get some information about his time on the continent but he could hardly remember anything.
He went trough France to Belgium and ended in Holland near Eindhoven.
His rank sgmn
He was with the signals
This is how his dairy starts.
Today was our D-day, or at least we thought it was. We left our marshally area near Laindon and boarded a liberty ship at Tilbury.
(He landed on the coast near Caen and was stuck there because movement was restricted due to lack of liberated area.)
Here is a day from his dairy.
We went back to the pocket again today, what a ride. But the enthusiasm of the population is good to see, waving and cheering al the way along. We went right into the killing ground and I never wish to see anything like it again.
The smell of decaying bodies was overpowering. The spot in question was a narrow country which at One time would have been pretty.
We stopped the liner, and clambered out. Just to the right of us lay a German huddled up on the bank and on the opposite side of the road lay another with his leg blown off. Horses were everywhere. In the hedges and on the banks, some ripped open and others with their heads and limbs missing. Jerry must've used a lot of horse transport, some horses where lying in the shafts, those which had died in agony had kicked and thrown the little carts over. I wouldn't have seen this happening for a million pound, the screaming must have been terrible.
Further the lane lay five Germans face downwards pointing the same way. Two with riffles clutched in their hands.
It was a horrible sight. Death always is, and pathetic to cause. All around the truck are littered the personal belongings of their owners, letters, photos of small children, girls and mothers, family groups and weddings.
The German can't be much different to us.
My mother was born on the 8th of October when here dad was in Holland.
Later on in live she marries my dad from Holland and their second child, me, was born in Eindhoven where my granddad had spend some time. My sister, third grandchild, was born in Hapert a village near Eindhoven. In a way it seems like it had to be.
Sentences from his dairy.
On October the 12th I learnt I was the father of a baby girl
I'm quite enjoying this stay near Eindhoven
When I finish copying his diary it would be great to put it on this site for everyone to read. Reading it gave us a better understanding of how my granddad became who he was. This way our granddad whom we all love very much will never be forgotten. Not that we ever will forget him.
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